"I'm such an American I piss Budweiser...." -Jack Swagger
The artificial world of professional rasslin’ (as opposed to the real sport of wrestling), has always employed stock parody characters designed to offend and excite audiences with incendiary statements and unsavory behavior from the ring. I’m not a rasslin’ fan, but have some familiarity with the rasslin’ world from the years I spent living in the South, so I know that being offended and riled up from the ring is all part of the rasslin’ experience.
A new teabagger-inspired duo created by rasslin’ organization WWE, however - "Real Americans" Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger – appears to have touched a raw nerve for hypersensitive right-wingers always on the lookout for something to be outraged about. Glenn Beck and Alex Jones' Infowars accused WWE of "demonizing" the Tea Party with its "racist" characterization of these two "Real Americans," and the right-wing twitosphere erupted with predictable faux-rage (See also Atlantic Wire, Daily Caller, Huffington Post, Mediaite, Red Alert Politics, Slate, Washington Times).
WWE insists that the characterization of Coulter and Swagger is for entertainment purposes only, but it's hard not to see this as a deliberate dig at the Tea Party and the paranoid far-Right. Online teabaggers and Glenn Beck certainly see it that way, and are in an absolute froth about it. Zeb Coulter's "We the People" page at Youtube contains several funny video clips of Coulter and Swagger as a pair of blathering anti-immigrant Neanderthals, complete with Gadsden flag ("Don't Tread on Me"); and Coulter's Twitter profile describes him as a "Lover Of Freedom, Apple Pie, God, Good Ol Detroit Rollin Iron, 8 Year Auto Financing, Guns. Real Patriot, Proud American." Jack Swagger's Twitter profile says of him: "I'm The 2 time All American American! I'm such an American I piss Budweiser and headbutt Bald Eagles!"
Coulter and Swagger have treated teabaggers to an only slightly exaggerated version of what teabaggers actually are, and now their feelings are hurt! Fingers of teabag blame are being pointed at WWE owners Vince and Linda McMahon, who will now join Karl Rove and other establishment Republicans on the ever-growing teabag GOP enemies list.
As Coulter and Swagger's video comments suggest, and as Connor Simpson details at Atlantic Wire, the pair are posing as villains against good guy Mexican champion Alberto Del Rio in the lead-up to Wrestlemania, the biggest rasslin' event of the year (see also Cage Side Seats, Latinos Post). While this match-up will have special appeal for WWE's large Latino audience, teabaggers will undoubtedly see it as a sell-out akin to "amnesty." As establishment Republicans in Washington sell out to Latinos on immigration reform, teabaggers will think, the McMahons are selling out to Latino rasslin' fans.
WWE is milking this manufactured controversy for all it's worth at Beck's expense, and has challenged Beck to appear with Coulter and Swagger on its show Monday Night Raw. Beck has tartly declined WWE’s invitation, but continues to cast stones at WWE from afar, making a paranoid ass of himself as usual (see also PoliticsUSA). Alberto Del Rio's personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez has gotten in on the act, taunting and prodding Beck via Twitter to accept WWE's invitation to appear on Monday Night Raw.
As I said, I'm not a rasslin' fan, but I'm a big fan of anything that further isolates and enrages teabaggers, sows further division between teabaggers and establishment Republicans, and further provokes the likes of Glenn Beck into demonstrating what an abject buffoon he is. For just this once, therefore, maybe I'll enjoy watching a little teabag-rasslin' (yee-hah!).
UPDATE: Since Glenn Beck's feud with WWE began there has been speculation that Jack Swagger's recent arrest for DUI and marijuana possession in Mississippi might spoil his face-off with Alberto Del Rio at Wrestlemania due to WWE rules on such matters. According to Cage Side Seats, however, it seems likely that the Beck controversy will save Swagger from suffering any penalty from WWE, and that he will face Del Rio as planned. The media buzz on the Beck controversy has completely eclipsed Swagger's arrest, and it seems unlikely that WWE would wish to give up such potentially lucrative attention just for the sake of some silly little rules.
Meanwhile, Zeb Coulter live-tweets his real-life fictional Minuteman adventure on the US/Mexico border with the Patriot Patrol, beer, and nudie magazines. If "Danger" is not his middle name, it damn well should be.